A vintage bedside table can work wonders in adding to a bedroom's traditional look, although identifying genuine items is important, and price often serves as an indication. A typical vintage bedside table, or bedside cabinet, is between 50 and 100 years old, and if kept well, can last just as many years more. Pay attention to aspects like style, size, storage options, and condition.
Symmetry tends to work well with bedside tables, especially when aiming for a bold look, so looking for a vintage bedside table pair is a good starting point. Most vintage bedside cabinets and tables use wood in their making, but they come with different surface materials. Solid wood surfaces do not do well with holding water glasses through the night. Still, glass tops and ones with lacquer finishes are prone to smudging. Plywood, stone, and matte painted surfaces, on the other hand, can withstand a fair amount of abuse. While buyers can find numerous options in wooden and painted finishes, vintage bedside tables that make use of embossed metal casing can increase the style quotient even more. Some come with hinged lids that cover storage compartments. While good for storage, keeping items on surfaces that double as lids is not practical. Handles can vary from simple to ornate, and something like a metal lion's head can add a royal touch all by itself.
Size and Storage
Some vintage side tables offer no more than spindly legs and flat tops, and some others come replete with multiple drawers or shelves. As a result, identifying required storage space at the onset is crucial. Open shelving ensures that items are kept in plain sight and are ideal when exposure to dust is not a concern. The height of a bedside table should be in line with the surface of the mattress for easy accessibility.
Since vintage and retro bedside tables vary in age and maintenance from previous owners, they vary in condition. With handmade vintage tables, small imperfections are part of the making process and even lend to an item's authenticity. Other than that, pay attention to damage in the form of chips, scratches, and worn out paint. Table tops should remain smooth, irrespective of the table's age; its drawers should slide in and out with ease; if has any doors, the hinges should work fine; legs should not wobble; and the rear panel, although typically out of sight, should not look worn out. Pay particular attention to the knobs and handles of old bedside cabinets and tables, ensuring that they match, because finding replacements is not easy, and replacing one can translate into replacing all.